Guilt Project – Days Two – Four

Facing REAL THINGS brings clarity.  It is much harder to let go of what we carry when we do not truly understand.  And so we look…sometimes we must look. In a world that tells us to hurry up some of us rebel and dig our heals in and SCREAM “I will stay right here!”  In a world that tells us to hurry up some of us Fly too high when we are not quite ready and then fall so hard….over and over.  Find a middle..always try to Find a MIDDLE or at very least come back to a middle.

And now on to the guilt project Days Two through Four:

Day Two – Always Loved Ulli

Hanging out with my kids in their dads house with my ex mother in law was interesting. Since our separation I have slowly been detaching from her and it had been a long time since we had talked.  The thing is her and I have this very close friendship but it’s always this dance.  I tell her everything, she surprises me with her openness, I freak out a little on the inside after.

She is the only other person who intimately experienced my marriage.  She listened to stories, gave advice and watched how her son and I would unravel, build tension and then blow up. I don’t believe she felt the answer was separation it’s not what she wanted to see but undeniably she always knew we were a volatile combination.  She loved us both and seemed to understand what each of us needed to do yet she also seemed to understand how neither of us could change to fit.

So with the above in mind I’m not sure why I figured she’d have taken sides.  I’m not sure why I figured she had since painted me as the selfish, nasty woman who left but that’s what I did and so I was guarded.  As I write I know exactly why I figured it.  Did you catch it? There it is again…. guilt. So that’s how I acted.  I sat in my living room for most of a day behaving like a guilty dog that had something to hide. We watched each other, we chatted, we asked each other questions about other people and the things we weren’t talking about built up.  That’s the thing about people who know you…. they can tell what you’re not saying.

That’s how it went until I caved.  See… that’s our dance…. I always cave.  I’m going to leave it at that.  We started dancing and I started releasing.  One thing she said and I’m sharing it mostly because it’s funny “you two are like salt and pepper… mixes good for a while but can’t last”.

I think she may have meant oil and water.

Sounds like I was writing to a reader eh?  That was my intention starting out…to write to you but I think it shifts to writing more raw.

Day Three – A Big Cry

I’m not a non crier… I do cry. I’ve shed a lot of tears over the past couple years but something about being witnessed in tears is powerful.  Or is it more than that? Witnessed in tears while you are specifically speaking about the situation from your purest heart.

I sat with dearest Ulli and we kept talking. That’s how it always was with her and I… once the floodgates open we will exhaust ourselves and talk until it’s all out.  She said to me that she had been sitting with her son talking and offered him something new to consider.  She offered “in a way Nicole gets the short end of the stick…. she goes home alone and for you it is like this” and she opens her arms to the activity and the boys swirling around her.  And so I say “yes oh yes” and I pull out my notes and the blog posts I’ve been writing.  I read to her out loud the first one but when I got to the second one about my quiet mornings I struggled through with intense tears and almost an inability  to read my own words.

I had a big cry. I quickly did what I always do. I explained how I am okay and how I’m not feeling sorry for myself and how I know I have a great thing in many ways and how I wouldn’t change a thing but YES it’s hard.  Maybe it’s not even that it’s hard… maybe it’s that guilt AGain.  Maybe it’s only hard that I think nobody gets it.  Or worse …I don’t get it.  In my heart of hearts I have not let myself have peace.  So she blessed me by saying “have peace. I hear you.”

Coming from this odd person and that odd person is meaningless. Coming from the mother of my ex husband.   Well…..

This is the one that brought me to my tears but apparently I got off the track of guilt:

Day Four – Morning With Mine Babies

This is the best, the mornings in my home with my babies.  My oldest are teenagers and they are sleeping anyways but the feeling is luxurious. Walking up slowly, drinking coffee-making plans for the day from my own home. Doing my own dishes, my own little chores and just having them with me.

This situation, the way we split out custody is so stark a contrast for me. I was that 24/7 mom. I never went on girls nights (maybe 5 in 15 years), I never actually went anywhere during the early years and in the three years leading up to all these changes I was solo parenting 50% of the time.  50% wasn’t your classic 2 weeks alone / 1 week the husband is home but rather it was 3 weeks to a month at a time and then papa would pop in for a weekend or more.  It was intense, lonely, difficult and often desperate feeling.  The kids in school might have made it easier but that wasn’t our path and so it was 24/7 vs this now…. Such a stark contrast.

But today they are mine in my home.

This is a lovely surprise – the experience of hearing myself from then and seeing where I am at now.  If you are struggling with a divorce, relationship end, or any major loss it takes time to heal and facing things creates better results.


Day One of this project is here in case you missed it is here:

To understand what and why this project check the link here:

In short – I wrote about my guilty feelings everyday for 30 days.  I have decided that revisiting it everyday for another 30 days is where I draw the line and so I will chunk it where it is suitable to chunk it. The writing I expect will be raw and ugly as I don’t intend to edit much of the original content.  But sometimes life is ugly.  Sometimes we are ugly.  Take HEED


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